Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Another Best of 2004 music list

I love lists and countdowns, whether they're stupid like most of the ones on VH1 and E! or even some sports rankings, like ESPN's 25th Anniversary rankings. Most of all, I love music lists, especially the end-of-year lists.

Since my years at WXYC, I've made my own end-of-year best of's. However, at the end of every year, I realize that there's so much music I've slept on, especially seeing other DJs' lists. So the lists I've made in the past never stay to be a true reflection of what I end up considering to be the best (or my favorite) releases of that year. This year it's even more pronounced for two reasons:

(1) I left XYC and Chapel Hill in June 2004. XYC has been the most valuable source of new releases (and music in general) for me for years, and with the exception of WFMU, there's not a better radio station in the world. (For those of you not in the know, listen online to both stations!) I still try to keep up as much as I can, reading reviews and releases online (and in some cases listening online). My favorite websites include: Aquarius Records, Forced Exposure, Eclipse Records, Dusted Magazine, Fake Jazz, and Foxy Digitalis. But it's still not the same as working at XYC.

(2) Perhaps even more significant than not working at XYC is that I have no job and no money to spend on records...only on food, (sometimes) alcohol, and (now sometimes) the girlfriend. The biggest reason I want and need money is to be able to buy music again at the frequency I want. I'm dying here, folks.

So here's what I got for my list of favorite releases of 2004. (FYI, I include what I deem worthy compilations (e.g., no label samplers) and reissues that aren't obvious and were nearly impossible to find before (i.e., no Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain or any Eno reissues).) Okay, so here's my fucking list as of right now:

1. V/A - Goodbye, Babylon box set (Dust-to-Digital) (technically released in Oct. 2003, but I didn't hear about it until 2004...besides I've seen this on others' 2004 lists)
2. Animal Collective - Sung Tongs (Fat Cat)
3. V/A - Ghana Soundz: Afro-beat, Funk and Fusion in 70's Ghana Vol. 2 (Soundway)
4. Amps for Christ - The People at Large (5 Rue Christine)
5. The Homosexuals - The Homosexuals CD (Recommended) and Astral Glamour (Messthetics)
6. Six Organ of Admittance - For Octovio Paz (Holy Mountain)
7. Arthur Russell - The World of Arthur Russell (Soul Jazz)
8. Madvillain - Madvillainy (Stone's Throw)
9. V/A - Bandwidth: Celebrating 10 Years of Internet Radio on WXYC-Chapel Hill (WXYC)
10. Kemialliset Ystavat - Alkuharka (Fonal)
11. Keith Hudson - Flesh of My Skin Blood of My Blood (Basic Replay)
12. Espers - S/T (Locust)
13. Ghostface - The Pretty Toney Album (Def Jam)
14. Black Dice - Miles of Smiles EP (DFA)
15. V/A - Thai Beat A Go-Go, Vol. 1 (Subliminal Sounds)
16. Jason Forrest - The Unrelenting Songs of the 1979 Post Disco Crash (Sonig)
17. Mahjongg - Machinegong EP (Cold Crush)
18. Boban Markovic Orkestar - Boban I Marko (Piranha)
19. Metal Urbain - Anarachy in Paris! (Acute)
20. Iron and Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop)
21. Glenn Branca - Lesson No. 1 (Acute)
22. Konk - The Story of Konk (Soul Jazz)
23. Brian Wilson - Smile (Nonesuch)
24. Deerhoof - Milk Man (5 Rue Christine/Kill Rock Stars)
25. Lafayette Afro Rock Band - Soul Makossa (Hi & Fly)

Hon. Mention in alphabetical order:
Anything and everything from the Sublime Frequencies label
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - ...Sings Greatest Palace Music (Drag City)
Cold Sides - Perpetual Hypeness Machine EP (Freque NC)
Comets on Fire - Blue Cathedral (Sub Pop)
DNA - DNA on DNA (No More Records)
Danger Mouse - The Grey Album (self-released)
Ex-Girl - Endangered Species (Alternative Tentacles)
Fennesz - Venice (Touch)
Les Georges Leningrad - Sur les Traces de Black Eskimo (Alien8)
Noxagt - The Iron Point (Load)
Serge Gainsbourg - Aux Armes et Caetera (Sunnyside)
Snoop Dogg ft. Pharell - "Drop It Like It's Hot" single (Geffen)
Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans (Sounds Familyre)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A side effect of not working + beer

I might actually start working soon, but at the moment I'm still not. One side effect of not working is not knowing exactly what day it is, especially when I'm drinking.

I was at a bar with my friend Luke earlier tonight, and since he has to wake up early tomorrow morning to go to work, I decided to call another unemployed friend of mine to see if what he was up to, hoping he was at already at a bar because I wanted to continue drinking. Here's how the conversation went.

Me: "Yo, Ed. What's up?"

Ed: "Nothing much. What are you up to?"

Me: "Oh, not much. I'm at some bar with Luke, and he has to go home soon because of work tomorrow. I was wondering what you guys were up to since I know you guys go to Club Foot on Mondays."

Ed: "But it's Tuesday."

Me: "Oh shit...it is???"

Ed: "Yeah." (Laughs)

Me: "Oh yeah, I guess you're right. Okay, I'll talk to you later."

Ed "Later."

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year

2004 was a great year for me, personally. I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of 2004 in Chapel Hill. (I sort of wish I could have spent last night there where my friends DJ-ed at Hell. Nevertheless, I had a great time at the suprisingly big party my friends Jamie and Sean threw here in Chi-town.) And the latter half of the year I spent in Chicago was obviously great.

Despite the usual negative shit that's part of life and some very obvious crap that happened this year (e.g., Bush winning a second term), when I think back and reminisce, 2004 will go down as one of the best years of my life and quite possibly the best year of my adult life thus far. Life's hard but good...and that's something I haven't been able to say, ever. I don't want to jinx 2005 already by expecting things to get even better, but right now the present and future looks bright. Hopefully, I'll be working soon...even though not working has been pretty fucking awesome. I've essentially had a six-month vacation. Now it's time to earn some dough.

I haven't thought of any new year's resolutions because I'm a lazy son of a bitch, but I know I have many. Anyway, I hope everyone has a good and happy 2005, except the usual suspects like George W. Bush, the Republican party, and Kobe Bryant.

East St. Louis Rated 'Number One City In America'

From The Onion:

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL — The December issue of Poverty magazine, featuring its annual "Top American Cities" poll, hit newsstands Monday, and for the second year in a row, East St. Louis topped the list. "East St. Louis dominated our poll yet again in 2004, topping such categories as unemployment, hubcap availability, and liquor-stores-per-capita," Poverty editor Felicia Banks said. "The city's educational system also rated high, boasting a student-gun ratio of 1:1." Rounding out the top five, in descending order, were Flint, MI; Newark, NJ; Compton, CA; and Gary, IN.